Planning Your First Family Holiday – Tips and Tricks

[Image - Caroline Gutman]
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Planning your first family holiday is an exciting time in your life and whilst it can seem a daunting prospect for new parents, it should also be something you look forward to!

By no means as simple as heading off on holiday with your friends, travelling with your family takes a touch more organisation and effort. In order to get the most out of it, and make it as stress-free as possible, you’ll need to plan a few things in advance.


Accommodation should be near the very top of your list because now that you’re going away with a family, you need to be a lot more selective about where you stay. Hotels are not always the best choice if you’re going with babies or toddlers because they mean being confined to one room – you won’t be able to get any time for yourselves and will be limited by the noise. Villas, cottages or cabins are much better choices because they allow you to share the same space but still offer private areas for a bit of peace and quiet.

You will also most likely find yourself spending more time in accommodation than usual, especially during the evenings, as kids can easily tire out. This means that you may want to spend a bit more on your accommodation because notably after long days, where you’re staying can have a big impact on you and your family. Of course you will want to eat out but depending on how old your kids are, this may not be an option every night.

Considering the ages of your children before choosing where you go can be vital. Certain hotels do provide amenities for young children, but not all of them, so if you do choose to go to a hotel, make sure they can accommodate your child. Another major factor is that if you’re planning on going to a hot country, taking a baby may not be the best choice as they can quickly overheat and need plenty of shade. So always research the destination before you book, because having children with you can make a world of difference to a trip.

Air miles

Although it may come as a shock, babies and air travel don’t always go well together. If you’ve ever sat on a plane next to a crying baby, you know it’s not one of life’s pleasurable experiences. As children can easily get bored and aren’t keen on sitting in one place, you’ll have to find ways to distract them. Whilst many airlines often provide said distractions, bring your own just in case; colouring pens, portable game consoles, puzzles and toys are all priceless options!

How far you travel for your holiday can also have quite an impact. Heading across to the other side of the planet for your idyllic holiday may seem great in theory, but when taking a baby who will have to put with an 8 hour flight, layovers and time zone differences, it may not be the wisest choice. For the first few holidays with a young family, head throughout Europe or even just the British Isles, saving the long-haul flights for when they’re a bit older.

Bite-sized days

When going out for activities with toddlers, try and keep them as bite-sized as possible. There may be a million things you or your partner want to do but that’ll take up a lot of time and energy, and you’ll soon realise doing them with young children requires more sacrifice than you think.

There are plenty of essentials to bring with you when taking a baby on holiday. Focus by making up a list of what you need to bring, bearing in mind your accommodation will probably be able to supply a number of them for you. However, if you’re unsure whether things such as potties or highchairs are provided, then get in contact with them beforehand so you know exactly what to bring and don’t end up wasting space in your suitcase.

Whilst it can quickly seem like an avalanche of things for you to remember, most important is that you take the time to enjoy your first ever-family holiday. This is a special moment in your life and as you watch your little one discover new worlds and experiences, creating memories that you’re sure to look back on with fondness. It may be a lot more difficult than planning a romantic weekend for two, but when it pays off, it will be all worth it.